Thriving theatre at Buxton Fringe

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release June 3rd 2021

Prize-winning performers are among those flocking to Buxton with new drama for this year’s Fringe from July 7 to 25.

Following their award winning success with Jordan, Easy Company are back with the exciting modern play Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Speech is limited by law to 140 words a day, can a relationship survive without the building blocks of conversation?

Other favourites returning include Nathan & Ida with Tempus Fugit, a brand new, fast-paced comedy about two wooden characters forever trapped in an enchanted cuckoo clock where they’re running out of time, and master storyteller Polis Loizou brings Mr Fox, a gleefully wicked old folk tale about a headstrong young woman, her secretive fiance, and his deadly secret.

Award-winning Fringe favourites Sudden Impulse bring the inspiring and much-loved Kes to the stage of the Old Clubhouse, and they are also up at the URC with Dario Fo’s comic farce, The Virtuous Burglar. A burglar is discovered when the owner of the flat returns unexpectedly with his mistress, but when the owner's wife arrives, the burglar is forced to pretend the mistress is his wife. Expect a profusion of spouses, lovers and laughs!

There is always Shakespeare at the Fringe, but usually with a twist! In After Shakespeare, Lexi Wolfe weaves together Shakespeare's words, research, and her own dramatic spark, to find out what happens to four of his heroes and villains after the curtain falls, whereas inamoment theatre explore what really did happen in Verona through the voices of the Nurse and the Friar in Romeo and Juliet: The Confessions.

There are adaptations of darker classics too. Jekyll & Hyde is reborn in a one-woman show from Heather-Rose Andrews; there’s class, terror, and hypocrisy, as the collision between the search for self and the lure of the sensuous takes its toll. In Dracula! One Bloody Fang After Another, the horror is lampooned in a riotous comedy - one man, eighteen roles, plenty at stake…

There are several powerful explorations of our inner lives to be found on the Fringe. Qweerdog Theatre presents a darkly humorous, intimate thriller about a loss of faith in For I Have Sinned, in which a weary priest is eager to give a desperate man succour, but who is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice? Eddy Brimson’s Naughty Boy is a powerfully performed journey from mental institution to a hedonistic weekend of sex, drugs and violence which jangles the nerves. In an innovative and challenging piece of theatre, Theatrical Awakening’s Prisoner of the Mind imagines memories starting to fade, but the one remaining memory is one you wish you could forget. When you’ve witnessed the worst things imaginable, the world can never be the same again; Battle Cry from Madam Renards is a solo piece based on a true story of a former soldier battling PTSD. It reminds us that asking for help may be the toughest battle.

Two plays will give a distinctive sense of place. In Buttercup by Patricia Downey,

Mary, Katie, and Colleen are teenagers in late 70s Belfast more interested in dancing than bombs, the friends endure everything that life and history throws at them in hard-hitting contemporary all-female led theatre. The Bus Stop is a one-act play set at Bolton Interchange. It's Sunday lunchtime. Jacki and Keith strike up a conversation, share secrets and fears, and become friends, but that's just the beginning.

The frustrations of an acting career come to the fore in Make-Up from NoLogoProductions.

The star is leaving the building and the nobody is returning, but neither of them are having a good time, so step into the green room for what could be Lady Christina's final performance. In Little Boxes actor Joann Condon explores the boxes she has found herself in. The hopes and dreams of a child, the trials and tribulations of acting, the tensions of parenthood, the grief in losing loved ones, the fear of being... herself.

Some shows feature life’s challenges and how we get on with each other. Buckets from Haywire Theatre may be a story about why you shouldn’t go skydiving with your hamster, but it’s also about how to tell someone you love them, and the effect we have on one another, and what we leave behind once we’re gone. In Too Young to Stay In, Too Old to Go Out! Nigel Osner casts a quizzical eye over the opportunities for those no longer young with humorous and bittersweet songs and stories about love, holidays and even the gym. Chapel-en-le-Frith Players bring a classic Alan Bennett monologue, A Lady of Letters, about Miss Ruddock who dashes off copious complaining letters with her trusty fountain pen but ends up in trouble herself.

Buxton’s REC Youth Theatre Company seem to have thrived during lockdown and are bringing four shows to the Fringe this year. The Senior Company are up at St Thomas More School with Ryan Craig’s How to Think the Unthinkable, an adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy of Greece’s most famous teenager, Antigone, fighting for what she believes is right in the aftermath of a bloody civil war. Also up at the school, the Junior Company compete for the title of ‘Britain’s Brainiest Child’ in Bright. Young. Things. As the pressure mounts, and the spotlight gets harsher, who will win and who will lose? And what does winning mean anyway? You can also find the Junior Company out of doors performing Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox in Grinlow Woods, and the youngest REC company will be up in the woods as well, waiting for Peter Pan to return in The Lost Kids. To pass the time, they retell the story of heroic Wendy.

REC's newly formed 18-25 Theatre Company is also appearing as part of the Fringe at the newly refurbished St Anne's Parish Centre. Their production, Blister by Laura Lomas, is a drama exploring the limits of forgiveness as it tells the story of how one person's decision on an ordinary summer's day sends seven futures spiralling

Some favourite shows return to the Fringe this year. Patricia Hartshone's coming out - of Marlene Dietrich's suitcase in a colourful, comic and poignant solo cabaret, Dressing Up Dietrich. Ray Castleton brings back Without Malice or Ill Will, about a miner who became a police officer and how he then faced his mates across the picket lines in 1984/85. The misfiring magic, trademark fez and quick-fire gags are all there in Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show. This remarkably faithful performance has sold out here previously.

In last year’s mainly online Fringe, the fabulously innovative But Why? Theatre took the John Beecher award, and this year they are back with Tyranny Rolls - Justice for All, a new immersive experience. Tyranny Rolls are the voice of the disadvantaged and downtrodden, and they need your help as HM Moore brings bigotry to Buxton.

Before Covid had even reared its ugly head, Buxton Drama League had entered the Fringe’s very first online event, and they are back with another original comedy audio play, A Whiter Shade of Pale, as ghostly uninvited guests in the ancestral home of the Wellhavalin family have stories to tell, and a visiting Paranormal Investigation Team seems more bitter and twisted than the spirits. Ashgate Heritage Arts have a new version of their murder mystery musical online. In Crooked Spire, John Carpenter arrives in 1360 Chesterfield to build a windlass and erect a new church spire, but the master carpenter is murdered, and intrigue follows.

Fringe chair Stephen Walker comments: “Given how difficult it has been for companies to rehearse and prepare new work, Buxton Fringe is blessed to have such an abundance of great theatre.”

Details of all Fringe events are on and the free to download Buxton Fringe App.

The Fringe wishes to thank High Peak Borough Council, the Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.



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